5 Minute Read
Today’s Bible Reading:
Today’s Bible Verse(s):
Luke 22:45-46 (NLT): “When he got up from prayer and came to the disciples, he found them sleeping, exhausted from their grief. ‘Why are you sleeping?’ he asked them. ‘Get up and pray, so that you won’t fall into temptation.’”
Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):
The scene from which our Verse for Today comes is the Garden of Gethsemane, shortly before Judas betrays Jesus with a kiss.
It is late at night, and it’s been an emotionally taxing day. The disciples are confused and overwhelmed about some of the things Jesus had been saying. He has talked about betrayal, torture, and death. This isn’t the way things were supposed to play out – or so they thought.
So, as Jesus took the disciples into the Garden to pray, they may have attempted to pray but were overcome with grief and weariness. It was late at night, after all. It was only natural that they fell asleep.
We can’t blame them, right? I’ve had some awful days in my life, and I found it easy to simply head to bed. Slipping off into sleep at least gave me a momentary reprieve from my grief.
But, Jesus would have none of it. He knew that while the disciples wanted to sleep, he knew that there was a greater good. They were about to enter an hour of intense temptation. To get ready for it, they needed to pray. Prayer would strengthen them so that they would be victorious in the imminent temptation.
But, they slept. When they were tempted with an opportunity to run in the face of danger, they took that option. Jesus was left alone with thugs in the Garden.
There is much to prayer that we don’t yet understand. It is not only communion with God; it is also a means by which we are equipped to be victorious over the temptations that come our way.
Do you have a sin(s) that continues to claim victory over you? Are you praying about it? I mean, really praying about it? There may be other steps you can/should take in your desire for victory, but your plan of action should at least include prayer. In some way, God will use that time with Him to give you what you need to defeat the temptation to sin.
Matt Ellis is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida (fbcpolkcity.com). His latest book is God’s Grace in the Real World. Connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.